OTTAWA, ONTARIO- Employees of Ascendant Copper Corporation continue to face limitations when accessing the concession at their Junin project due to local opposition to the project, an issue that was downplayed in Ascendant Copper's current prospectus.
The opposition has intensified lately due to severe -and documented- human rights violations taking place in the Junin area. Contrary to information presented in the prospectus, no local environmental groups have signed agreements with the company.
In the addition, the government's rejection of the company's Environmental Impact Study will keep the company from exploring the Junin mining site for the foreseeable future.
According to Carlos Zorrilla from the Ecological Defense and Conservation Organization of Intag, "our position is clear: we are opposed to the Junin mining project for sound legal, environmental, and social reasons, and we are convinced that the opposition will not rest until Ascendant leaves the region for good."
Resistance to this project is indicative of wider struggles taking place across Ecuador and Latin America by people wanting to control their own resources and development, and not have them exploited by foreign corporations. Some governments in the Americas have taken steps towards nationalizing their resources.
On Monday, June 11th, 2007, Ecuador's Minister of Energy and Mining announced on national television that the mining concessions which have been granted in the country are in a state of "real chaos." The Minister also expressed his opposition to open-pit mining.
The Intag region, home to primary cloud forests and protected areas, is an internationally recognized biological hotspot. Ascendant's Junin project threatens jaguars, spectacled bears, brown-headed spider monkeys and an extremely rare frog species, among other endangered animals.
"We are very concerned the way the prospectus dealt with the issues at Junin, and we feel that it is keeping vital information from investors," states Zorrilla, adding "we're certainly wondering what kind of due diligence was exercised by the brokers on this prospectus."
For more information, including documentation of human rights abuses, and potential environmental damage, please see www.decoin.org, www.intagsolidarity.org, miningwatch.ca, and www.ascendantalert.ca.
For more information, please contact
+59 36 26 48 509